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getting started, beggining work without having an A&P

PolarTwins55

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Nov 2, 2004
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14:59
any advice on this? I'm a high school junior with a ppl, working on commercial, and i'm interested in getting my a&p, but i don't really plan on going to school for it. i'd much rather fly. i've got an aptitude for fixing things and most things mechanical. i do the work on my car when it needs it, and i figured the next step would be learning how to do this on planes, and eventually make a buck or two. i know that it takes 36 mos experience to get both your a&p if you dont go to an approved school for the training. how would one start doing this? i was kinda thinking something like an assistant or something. i'm looking for ideas on how to get around aviation maintenence and get started learning. learning.
thanks,
 

avbug

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To earn a Mechanic certificate based on experience, it's 18 months of full time work (40 hours a week) doing aircraft maintenance for either the Airframe rating or the Powerplant rating, or 30 months total, for both.

If you can find a shop that will let you fly and turn wrenches, then by all means, do so. You'll get a much broader, but less hands on and more general exposure to aviation maintenance if you go to school...I always recommend that people do, if they have the chance.

I didn't; I did mine based on experience, and prepared hard for it. I was self taught and taught on the job by doing, and I spent a year just studying for the practical test, on my own. You can do a weekend effort at Bakers or any other the other similiar courses, but you really ought to get as much experience and exposure as you can. I ended up going to work in a repair station that did everything, literally, and despite having a decade of experience turning wrenches while flying, it was still like being thrown into the fire. The learning curve was exponential...today, it still is.

Start buying tools now. Get good tools. Forget inexpensive stuff. Craftsman is okay, despite what some will tell you, but I prefer to invest in snap-on and mac...do what your budget will allow. Buy one tool at a time, pay it off, then get another. Over time, you'll have a decent set invested that will last a lifetime and be worth the investment. Get a good box (rollaway) too. Don't sell your soul like some do...I have boxes that I bought as damaged goods from Sears that have been in use for 20 and 30 years now. Still use them.

Do you have a subscription to AMT Magazine yet? No cost to you, and you should. http://www.amtonline.com/
 

USMCmech

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PolarTwins55 said:
i know that it takes 36 mos experience to get both your a&p if you dont go to an approved school for the training.

Actually it's 18 for the Airframe & 18 for the Powerplant OR 30 months for both. That is predicated on FULL TIME employment 40 hrs per week.

Most schools take 12 months full time, or 24 months of night classes.

About 50% of the information overlaps from pilot to mechanic and vice versa. Any mechanicly inclined pilot should have no problem getting their A&P.
 

a&p cfiguy

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Apr 19, 2005
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Best thing to do would be to go to your local community college and see if they offer the classes. A lot of them do. It's really the best way. It's cheap, and you can apply the credits to an associates degree and/or eventally a bachelors somewhere else. Seriously look into if your local comminity colleges offers these programs. The other option is to be an apprentice for 30 months. You must make sure everything is documented though. Check with your local FSDO before. A lot of people get screwed here because they didn't spend enough time doing this or that. Your last option is to go to an Aviation Maintenance School. Usually very expensive, can't use the credits towards a degree, but a good education. Once you do get your A&P, work for a flight school and trade work for a reduced paycheck with flight time. Make sure it's a documented thing though and not just an oral agreement. Yeah, sure we'll get ya some flight time! Usually doesn't work out that way. Check out American Flyers. They've got a mechanic internship program. Good luck.
 

Weasel Keeper

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As a junior in HS, if you don't have a job maybe see if you can be a mechanic helper at your local airport. If you can, get your supervisor to sign you off on everything you do and after a couple years you can test out with experience.

After you get the experience, some place like Bakers is a good deal. I went to Bakers after 8 years USAF and a year as a mechanic helper for an airline. 10 days later I came home with my A&P.

http://bakerssch.com/
 

Flechas

........
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avbug said:
To earn a Mechanic certificate based on experience, it's 18 months of full time work (40 hours a week) doing aircraft maintenance for either the Airframe rating or the Powerplant rating, or 30 months total, for both.

If you can find a shop that will let you fly and turn wrenches, then by all means, do so.


I started doing that, for a year I worked as a CFI and mechanic in the sameflight school. My idea was to do the 30 months and take the test, but the $$$ wasn't enough andi neded to pay rent and food,so I had to leave that job for a better CFI job.
 

pw4000

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some
You sound like a pilot I want my a/p but dont want to work on them.
 

PolarTwins55

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14:59
what? how does that sound like me? i'm not even old enough right now to go to school for it. i'm still in highschool. ass.
 

avbug

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what? how does that sound like me? i'm not even old enough right now to go to school for it. i'm still in highschool. ass.

Polartwin55, Attitude = Altitude. You are the beggar here; you asked the question. Your reply isn't warranted, and serves to tell those of us who took the time to answer your request that we did so in error. A reply like you just made doesn't deserve our time.

If you want to be a mechanic, fine. You indicated that you want the certificate, but don't want to go to school to earn it, and would rather fly...which is exactly what pw4000 stated. Exactly what you stated, to start the thread. You needn't call someone an "ass" for quoting you, or summing up your statement.

I did exactly as you...started flying in high school, and paid for it by turning wrenches at an airport 15 miles away (bicycling there after school each night), scrubbing grease, fueling airplanes, etc. It's do-able. But you're you'll find you're able to do a lot more "do-ing" if you listen and say "thank you," instead of "ass."

Think about it.
 
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